Malagash Salt Miners' Museum
Malagash, Nova Scotia

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The First Rock Salt Mine in Canada

 

 

MALAGASH TRAGEDY

Just after mid-morning, Tuesday, February 5th, 1957, Ora Scott, who was drilling on the East Limb of the Lucas Seam, East Roll, came through and shouted to the three men working in the stope that made on the West Limb, that he was going to blast.

The men, Carl Reeves, Lloyd Hartling and Lloyd Bennett took shelter in a crosscut about 12 feet long (or deep) in the pillar between the two stopes. The stope where the three men were some years before and the salt made such a sharp turn that the pillar resembled the bow of a huge ship, the Queen Mary, for example. One could see along the port side for 100 yards, but the starboard side had never been developed, and it swung off deceptively, so that the "ship" became wide very quickly. Ora Scott was working on this Eastern or Starboard side and when the shot detonated the shock waves travelled through the pillar, and the whole side of the pillar (ship) slid off and the ship became about eight feet narrower on the port side. I estimated that 2,000 tons of rock salt fell.

Where the three men had taken shelter, the depth suddenly became only four feet and large slabs of rock salt rolled in on them. Lloyd Hartling was killed; Carl Reeves was severely injured (he returned to work almost a year later, on December 30th), and Lloyd Bennett, who was between the other two scarcely received a scratch.

That was the end of salt production at the old mill in Malagash. Indeed, I had believed that spring would be the wind up of Malagash because it had been stated several times that Malagash would cease when Ojibway (located in Ontario) came into production. However, Malagash was to run two years more hoisting on No. 2 slope and using the "Pilot Plant" mill.

(Taken from the book 'Malagash Salt', first published in 1975)

 

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